My 18x internet speed increase

About ten days from now I should have a much-improved internet connection. For a number of years I’ve been on 1Mb broadband with UKOnline and have paid just under £10 per month.

As I live in Manchester city centre, far faster broadband has been available to me for some time. But I’m not a great file downloader, most online videos don’t need anything more than a (good) 1Mb broadband connection and the service and support with UKOnline has always been good.

As a web developer, a 1Mb connection was even an advantage in some ways, because I could see how pages and videos would work on a ‘below-average’ connection. I also pay for a second broadband connection at my dad’s house which, until recently, was with the truly dreadful AOL. That was supposedly ‘up to 8Mb’ but often in the evenings it delivered less than the 1Mb service with UKOnline!

However o2 had an offer that I just couldn’t refuse: up to 24Mb broadband for a few pennies less than I pay now (as I’m an o2 mobile customer I get a discount). The first three months are completely free and I get a free ADSL2 router. By all accounts o2 is a good service according to friends who use it already.

When I called UKOnline to get my MAC code I thought they might offer a free upgrade to 2Mb or even 8Mb, but they didn’t. I guess they just can’t compete. I think o2 has its own network, whereas the likes of UKOnline simply resell BT Wholesale?

I live just a few hundred yards from the local telephone exchange. O2 reckon I can expect to get download speeds of up to 18Mb. In fact I’m more interested in having a five times increase in my upload speed, to 1.3Mb, as uploading video files to websites is by far the most tedious thing.

I’m about to experiment with putting up more long-form video content: I have two hours of the recent LGBT Labour event to upload and two hours from last week’s Hazel Must Go meeting and I’d much rather it took 80 minutes to upload all the video files for each of those rather than 400 minutes! It was beginning to feel like dial-up all over again…

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